If you and your family like to stay active while on vacation, whether swimming, snorkeling, diving, cycling, hiking, kayaking, caving, or otherwise keeping fit and enjoying the elements, you will find numerous destinations around the globe that are worth putting on your bucket list. Read on for some of the top spots you might want to visit with your family this year, and beyond.
If you would like you and your family to step back in time and learn about a different culture, consider vacationing in Peru. While you will all need to be fit and your children will need to be older for it to be feasible, hiking the famed Inca Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience that is sure to create memories you and your family will cherish forever.
The hike takes around four full days and you can not only see amazing scenery as you walk, but also book-end your journey with time spent in two different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Machu Picchu, explore the ancient Incan citadel and archaeological site; while in the city of Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire, a walking tour is a great way to learn about the area’s history. While in Peru you can also enjoy other outdoor activities such as mountain biking, river rafting, horse riding, and rock climbing.
If you are looking for a vacation destination in the Pacific Ocean that is not quite as crowded as other spots, Palau could suit you well. This tiny country is actually an archipelago made up of hundreds of small islands. It is known to be an excellent snorkeling and scuba-diving area, and is home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life, including dugongs, sharks, turtles, dolphins, hundreds of fish species, and more. In addition, the Rock Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is believed to have almost 400 types of coral.
To protect natural beauty, a couple of years ago the country designated 80 percent of its territorial waters as a National Marine Sanctuary. While you are in Palau, apart from spending time in the water, you and your family can also sail around the islands, go kayaking, or hike tropical and mangrove forests, and limestone and volcanic islands.
Australia is a large island nation with everything from iconic beaches and barrier reefs, through to rainforests, the outback, ski slopes, and more. Depending on your family’s interests, and the time of year you visit, you may want to spend some time surfing and swimming at Bondi Beach; hiking through the pristine forests in Tasmania; rock-climbing in the Blue Mountains; snorkeling or diving at the Great Barrier Reef; or walking around Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and exploring the Bungle Bungles National Park.
For something a little more city-based, walk across the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, or kayak near the just-as-well-known Opera House. You can also find ski slopes just a few hours’ drive away from cities such as Canberra and Melbourne.
The continent of Africa boasts every kind of active opportunity you and your family could be looking for. For example, apart from, of course, seeing wildlife on a safari experience, you can also do things like hike to the top of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; take a kayak tour to spot whales, dolphins and penguins; walk through fascinating cave systems; and dive with sharks. You also have the opportunity to learn ancient tracking and hunting techniques from the San people in South Africa, or travel along canopy walkways and learn about the medicinal properties of flowers and herbs in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
Looking for an active destination that does not involve a long plane ride? If so, Hawaii might be the perfect choice for you. Besides all the beautiful beaches you can swim or surf at, there are many other fun outdoor activities to participate in. For example, you can see an active volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or go diving or snorkeling with manta rays at night time. During your time in Hawaii you can also hike through scenic rainforests, take yoga classes right on the beach, or fly through the air on a zipline.
If winter activities are more your thing, head to the Swiss Alps. An active family’s dream destination, here you can go skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing, across your choice of various mountains. The area is also great in summer, when you can spend time hiking and biking through postcard-perfect highland lakes and meadows.